President Joe Biden vowed Tuesday that Americans would see a decrease in gasoline prices following his order to release oil from the nation’s strategic reserve, but cautioned they wouldn’t pay less right away.
Speaking at the White House following his administration’s announcement it would release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Biden said the effects wouldn’t be felt “overnight.”
“It will take time but before long you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank,” the president said.
In announcing the release early Tuesday, the White House said it was aimed at helping to ease rising prices, supply-chain bottlenecks, and surging demand. As MarketWatch reported, the release was coordinated with other energy-consuming countries to tamp down gasoline and other energy prices — potentially provoking a showdown with OPEC and its allies.
Biden’s remarks came a day after he renominated Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve, calling him “the right person to see us through” an effort to boost employment in the U.S. and also tackle “the threat of inflation” confronting the economy.
Republicans have been using sharply higher prices for food and gasoline in particular this year as a cudgel to attack Biden, with next year’s midterm elections on the horizon, while the president has insisted his economic agenda will lower inflation.
The House of Representatives last week approved Biden’s massive social safety net and climate bill, sending it to the Senate, where changes are expected. Republicans say the roughly $2 trillion measure would worsen inflation.
The so-called Build Back Better legislation contains $555 billion in climate programs, many in the form of tax incentives for clean energy. Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin say Biden and Democrats are waging “a war on fossil fuels,” and that their policies are to blame for rising gasoline